Thales UK has secured a six-ship, seven-year support contract for the Royal Navy’s Daring-class destroyers’ fully integrated communications system (FICS).

The contract requires Thales to guarantee the availability of the communications systems fitted to these new ships.

The contract, awarded to Thales by BAE Systems Surface Ships, covers all internal and external communications systems and will run until 2016.

In addition to providing support to the vessels themselves, Thales will also provide support for a single shore-based reference system.

To be undertaken from Thales UK’s Crawley site, the contract will be delivered in two stages: mobilisation and in-service support.

This contract is said to represent a move away from traditional ‘spares and repairs’ oriented support contracts, to a service-based model, where Thales will be responsible for system availability.